driving from Albuquerque NM to Denver, CO
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 4:42 AM Last Post By: trekker502
Jan 19, 2013 7:07 PM
15You need to keep track of the weather. Check http://www.KOAT.com for weather forecast and other events in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area. Currently, the weather has now warmed up to the 40sF degrees in the afternoons this week and our subzero temperatures are now being felt in North Dakota and Minnesota. There is a daily flight from the Santa Fe Airport to Denver.
Santa Fe has 300 art galleries and a dozen museums, including archaeology and history of the Southwest Indians. There are Tewa/Pueblo Indian villages nearby and some encourage visitors to watch their dances and art markets -- the La Fonda Hotel has a list of festivals and art markets at the Pueblo villages. There are shops around the Plaza selling art and jewelry by the New Mexico Indians -- Apache, Aztec, Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Tewa, and Ute. There are also boutiques selling designer clothes that you would find on 5th Avenue in NYC. There is a great music scene downtown as well as other venues of entertainment. There are a variety of restaurant cuisines, especially Spanish and spicy New Mexican. There are a variety of accommodations, including historic hotels, motels, and a hostel.
Outside of Santa Fe, Bandelier and Calles Valdera are within two hours' drive. Santuario de Chimayo is within one hours' drive and is known as an annual Pilgrimage during Holy Week to see its miraculous mineral spring. Rancho de Chimayo is a renowned restaurant nearby. There are ski resorts nearby Santa Fe, and Taos is about one hour's drive alongside the Rio Grande (Taos Ski Valley is beyond the village).
En route to White Sands, stop at Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, south of Socorro, to see the 7,000 sandhill cranes, 50,000 snow geese, and 50,000 ducks wintering over. You are allowed to drive around the refuge on the dikes between the ponds. The sandhill cranes start their northward migration in February, dependent on weather conditions.
Jan 19, 2013 7:28 PM
16The Fonda Hotel on the southeast corner of the plaza in Santa Fe is the traditional end of the Santa Fe Trail. Have a southwestern meal and a drink there and think of the people who made the trek from the Missouri River. Santa Fe is truly different from other state capitals and well worth a detour to get there. In the plaza note the monument to the Colorado Volunteers who, during the US Civil War, marched south from the Colorado mining districts and crushed the Confederate thrust to grab the gold fields, split off Califorinia from the Union, and also pick off a few Mexican provinces for the South and slavery. A significant figure in this was Major John Milton Chivington, who later went on as Colonel Chivington to conduct the Sand Creek Massacre.
Jan 20, 2013 4:42 AM
17The Civil War Battlefield at Glorieta Pass is just a 10 minutes drive northeast of Santa Fe, alongside Interstate-25; however, it may not be open during the winter.
In downtown Santa Fe, you will note the markers for the original Route #66, before 1937. Route #66 extended from downtown along Cerrillos Road to now merge with Interstate-25 south to Albuquerque. Along the Interstate, you will see additional highway markers depicting the route. If you continue driving under the freeway underpass on Cerrillos Road, it becomes the Turquoise Trail through the Cerrillos Hills, past Sandia Peak to Albuquerque and Interstate-40. Madrid village is just a few miles along the Turquoise Trail -- it is a hangout for artists and hippies -- very colorful.
Additionally, El Camino Real from Santa Fe to Mexico City may be seen along Agua Fria Road and Cerrillos Road, at the Stage Coach Inn, where an artesian well was used for watering the horses and people. El Rancho de los Golondrinas also had a stagecoach stop -- I don't know if it is open during the winter for its festivals and depiction of old Santa Fe lifestyle. South of Albuquerque, along Interstate-25, you will see markers commemorating the original El Camino Real to Mexico City -- it cuts across the hills before Las Cruces, taking a shortcut to El Paso, where it crossed the border.
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